Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mom's new Spring decor

I cannot believe it is almost the first of March!!  It feels like just two days ago our Elf on the Shelf was heading back to the North Pole.  And now all of the sudden it's almost here.  My favorite month!  March signals Spring around here (well - pretty much any month could signal Spring around here) but March is when I can make it official.  I am so excited to decorate and make my house feel a bit more Spring-y!  My mom has already started adding some Spring touches to her beautiful home so while we were visiting last weekend I took a few pics.  Because that's what I do.  :)


First - her bird painting.  A score from Pier One Imports.  I LOVE all of the colors.  

 I also love the way it looks on her beautiful rock fireplace.  The accents to the side of the painting (a small plant, clear jars, and a bird nest with a few eggs) are perfect little touches for a Spring mantel.  

 Love her built-ins and beautiful french doors...

and her wood floors...and her pillars...and everything else about her house!

 She didn't stop with the bird painting at Pier One.  She also picked up some fun, bright pillows that add such a great pop of color to her neutral couch.  That's the way to do it people.  Buy a neutral couch and change the pillows whenever you're in the mood to mix things up.  Instead of buying bold colorful couches.  Like I did.  :)  Oops!  Lesson learned.  (Although I loved my bold colorful couches for seven years - but now going on year eight - not so much.)



 Those bright pillows were just what this living room needed!  Mom - I'll tell you what this living room doesn't need.  That trunk you are using for a coffee table.  It would look much better somewhere else.  Say... in my house in San Diego perhaps?  Just a thought.  
(You know I'm not giving up until that trunk is mine.)  
Love, your favorite.  

Looks like March signals Spring in Utah too!  Or at least it does in my mom's house.  Thanks for letting me take pics of your house again mom.  And thanks for the trunk.  In advance. 

Happy almost March everyone!!

More pics of my mom's house:
Exterior here
Interior here and here

Monday, February 27, 2012

Salad in a Tortilla

Mondays are always busy, aren't they?  Each year when I'm figuring out extra curricular activities for my girls I make sure to NOT schedule anything on Mondays.  I usually spend the entire day catching up from the weekend - cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, and food prep.  Now you all know I'm not much of a chef, but I do like to have healthy snacks washed and cut and ready to go in my fridge (and not so healthy snacks organized and ready to go in my pantry - ha!).  ;)  Most Mondays after a trip to the grocery store I wash all of the produce, cut everything up and place it in clear containers.  Most Mondays I also put together this:


I wash the lettuce and put it in my lettuce crisper so it's ready to go for salads and sandwiches throughout the week.  Then I cut up vegetables.  Usually carrots, celery, cucumbers and whatever else I have on hand.  I put the veggies in a plastic container so they are ready to go for the week. The salad dressing I make is a recipe from my ultra healthy friend Koni. (I've shared this recipe before.)  Supposedly it's the "good kind of fat."  Bonus.  All I know is that it makes the vegetables taste really good.  

Salad Dressing:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil (I hear this combo and start thinking of Macaroni Grill and their bread and my mouth starts watering!)
1/4 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
2 minced garlic bulbs
Shake well and keep in cupboard (don't refrigerate!)

Because of a little prep work on Monday, it's easy to whip up a quick, healthy lunch or snack.  Now I have veggies washed and ready to go to give to my kids after school (usually with something like crackers and cheese) and for me, I pile everything on a whole wheat tortilla.   I always add my oven roasted almond slices (love them) and then the dressing.  It's seriously so good.  And if I eat a healthy breakfast and this for lunch, I feel like I don't have to be as strict with dinner.  Although sometimes I try to pass this salad tortilla off as dinner when I'm not in the mood to cook.  Which is most nights.  It never flies.  Kenny calls it "rabbit food" and just makes himself a bowl of cereal.  So I go back to just eating it for lunch.  But it sure makes a good lunch!  Or snack.  So that is why I'm sharing it with all of you.

Enjoy my fellow rabbits!  And have a nice day.  :)  

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Random Monday

So last week was a little slow here on the blog.  We were on the go...


Literally.  :)

My kids were out of school all week - "ski week" we call it around here because most people travel somewhere cold to get their snow fix.  We spent the week at my mom's - our little retreat and home away from home.  It was a fun getaway.  And now I'm back!  And ready to finish the 15 projects I left behind.

But for now, I'm sharing a few random pictures from before our trip because well - I'm feeling a bit random tonight.  So random pics it is!  

 Cleaned out the garage last week.  (Some of my tips for garage organization are here and here.)  Always feels nice to pull up to a clean garage.  I usually straighten mine up once a month while the kids are playing in the front yard.  It's crazy how quickly it can turn into madness if I don't.

I love this time of year!  Everything is growing like crazy including our bougainvillea vine...

and our lemon tree.  


 Lemons just in time for a little Spring Decor!   Lemonade anyone? 

Speaking of Spring, we've had some fun rainy days this past month.  This is my little miss on our way to ballet.  I love her cute smile in this rain gear so much.  I'm tempted to scrap this picture --

but it might look a bit too much like this page.  And of course then I'd actually have to blow the dust off of my scrapbooking supplies.  Hoping this is the week and dust will fly!  

Kole up to his usual tricks.  


Climbing, climbing and a little more climbing.  

And the girls up to their usual tricks.  This little teddy bear travels in style!

Bought another white pitcher.  
I'm starting to think it has become a bit of an addiction and something might be wrong with me.  

I also bought some new black boots.  In December.  They were a Christmas present to me from me.   
They are comfy and fun and look good with so many things.

But the only picture I have of me in them is this one.  Black boots with a black top.  
How incredibly original of me.  

Looks like Kole's done eating.

I found this sweet note from my Ellie in the kitchen a few weeks ago.  
The best.  Noting beats a note like this one.  

Kenny also received a note from Ellie.  She left this for him one morning while he was packing to head out of town.  He has been traveling a lot lately for work and clearly Ellie isn't feeling it.  Quite frankly I'm not feeling it either.  And that is final.  :)


Kole and I doing laundry.  I say "laundry time" and Kole books it to the hallway.  I toss the warm clothes from the dryer on him (a fun game I used to play with the girls when they were toddlers).  Then Kole pulls every clothing item I try to fold out of my arms and laughs hysterically.  I get nothing done and after 20 minutes of this little game I finally haul the clothes up on my bed so that I can actually fold them.  Good times.  :)  

How was that for random!?  Happy Monday everyone!

p.s.  Just found out that someone nominated me for Apartment Therapy's "Best Family Blog."  So thank you to whoever nominated me!  So incredibly kind.  You can vote for my blog (or someone else's for that matter!) here.   Thanks for your support!  Over and out.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Photography - lesson learned

I've learned a lot about photography in the last few years.  Well.  Not a lot meaning I'm a great photographer (hardly!), but a lot meaning I've learned so much more than I knew before I started using my first SLR.  I love taking pictures and playing around with my camera and I enjoy trying out different settings, different lenses, and different lighting to achieve the look I want for certain pictures.  A lot of the time when I'm taking pictures of my house or projects for the blog I pay close attention to lighting, aperture, ISO, shutter speed, backgrounds, etc.  I take my time.  And I don't use the flash because heaven forbid - I've read enough camera tips to know that if I did the walls would come caving in around me and life as I know it would never be the same!  ;)  

Taking pictures of my kids is a different story.  

Sometimes I see something ordinary that happens often in our day to day life that I want to capture and remember.  Like the other day when I glanced out the back door and saw Ellie flinging Kole around like a rag doll.  My usual response is "ELLIE PUT HIM DOWN I CANNOT DEAL WITH A TRIP TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM TONIGHT!"  But Kole was laughing hysterically - I mean really laughing - so I grabbed my camera instead.  

I didn't worry about lighting.  I didn't worry about aperture, I didn't worry about backgrounds and shutter speeds and ISO.  And this one time, I didn't worry about the possibility of an emergency room trip.

 I just snapped pictures not really worrying about anything at all.  
The lighting isn't great and the pictures are blurry (I was really laughing too).  

And they are some of my favorite pictures to date.  

I think the biggest lesson I've learned about photography over the years is that while the technical camera stuff is cool to learn, it really doesn't matter much.  Capturing a moment like this one that I will now have to cherish and remember forever outweighs a "perfectly planned" picture any day.  

Even if the moment captured was taken with the flash.  

(which these pictures weren't because my walls are intact and I'm still here)  

:)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Organized Laundry Room Cupboards

So I mentioned a while back that I tore apart my closet and by doing so a minor project turned into a major project.  My closet was a catch all for extra home decor and since I wanted a lot of that stuff out (to actually restore order for my clothes) I needed a place to put it all.  In an ideal situation I'd have one closet or room or area that could house all of my extra decor, but in our current house I just don't have a place big enough for it all.  I'm sure Kenny would say that isn't the problem.  He might be inclined to chime in right about now and say that the problem is that I buy too much home decor.  But he would be wrong.  The issue is clearly that I don't have a place big enough to store it.  :)  So I've chosen a few locations around my house to be a home for my home decor.  Several of these spots I've shared before (Christmas decor in my trunks, Fall/Valentine decor in my hutch) but most of it was residing in my closet.  The cupboards above my washer/dryer were such a mess - I don't think I've ever organized them.  I'm rarely in them and just never made them a priority.  I knew if I straightened things around I could come up with some more space for decor.  Plus these cupboards were on my "to organize" list for 2012 so the time had come for a mini makeover in the laundry room!    

{BEFORE}





{AFTER}




Ahhh... much better.  And they are holding so much more now!  The left side (seen above) is for random extras - humidifier, baby monitors, light bulbs, envelopes and candles.  The right side holds extra home decor, sewing supplies, and cleaning supplies.

Now you all know I don't sew.  Sewing is about on the same playing field as cooking for me which is why most of the time I head to the tailor and spend more to get a shirt mended than I did to buy it in the first place.  My grandma was an amazing sewer/quilter and every time I do this I feel her disapproving eyes looking down at me down from heaven saying "seriously Erin?"  They are the same eyes I used to see whenever I ate too much candy out of her candy dish or fought with my cousins even though I was the oldest and was supposed to be "the one setting the example."  I never liked those disapproving eyes.  But I sure love my grandma.  So for her sake I do own a few simple sewing supplies.  I keep thread and other odds and ends in small containers from Target.  Extra buttons that come with clothes fit nicely in mini draw string pouches.

I organize my glue guns/sticks the same way. 

And I just bought this cute little green basket (also from Target) 

to hold extra laundry items.  I also have a little brown basket I use for dryer sheets.
My laundry soap is in a big box that I keep out on the top of my dryer for easy access.  

So there you go!  These cupboards only took me 20 minutes to straighten and now not only are they holding more supplies, but they make me smile every time I open them to do some laundry.  Or to change up my decor.  Which in my house happens about as often as the laundry does.  :)  


I'm happy about this mini makeover!  And I think my grandma would be too.  Right up until I head to the tailors to get a button sewn on.  Kidding.  

Sort of.  

:)

Enjoy your day!  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A mom moment

Last Friday I experienced a "mom moment."  You know those moments you have as a mother every once in a while when you are suddenly overwhelmed with the love you feel for your children.  When you realize in an instant how much they mean to you.  For me, moments like this seem to happen at the most random times.  I was at the girls' Elementary school.  The school was having its annual Jog-a-Thon (kids all jog laps around the field and the parents donate money to the school for each lap their child runs).  I had volunteered to bring orange slices for the runners and had planned on just dropping off the oranges and leaving.  I knew I wouldn't be much help with my little shadow to chase after and I had errands to run and a long list of things I needed to get done before Addie came home from Kindergarten at noon.  But it was such a beautiful morning.  Blue skies, sunshine, and there was a smell of spring in the air.  Birds were chirping and I found myself pushing Kole's stroller onto the field thinking that maybe I'd just stay for a minute.  Just long enough to see my girls run a lap or two.  

Kole was of course busting out of his stroller within minutes so I did my usual trick to hold him off a little longer...


I gave him a peeled apple.  

It takes him a good five minutes to eat the whole thing and a peeled apple has saved me literally hundreds of times when five more minutes was all I needed.  Five more minutes in the grocery store, five more minutes in the car, five more minutes to keep him quiet in church.  And this morning - five more minutes so I could watch for my girls.

There were so many kids out on the field.  I didn't know if I'd be able to spot them so I started looking for their teachers/classmates.  I noticed that the kids started off with their class but when Addie's Kindergarten class came around I didn't see her.  I looked and looked and then suddenly there they were.  Running around the corner.  Both of my girls - holding hands.  I saw them together and it took my breath away.  They were laughing and talking and with a group of Ellie's friends.  They were excited to see me and both waved.

I snapped this picture of them running away and soon after realized I had tears streaming down my cheeks.  I quickly wiped them away - grateful I had on sunglasses.  But I couldn't help crying.  I kept thinking over and over they found each other.  In all of those kids, they found each other.  

They ran/walked 14 laps and never let go of each other's hand.  I stayed the whole morning.  Figured the "to-do's" could wait.  I cheered my girls on and when the jog-a-thon was over I told them how proud I was of them and how happy they made me.  I knew that they would go about their day and not think much about the morning they spent together running and holding hands.  I knew it was a morning I'd never forget.  

I was in such a good mood I didn't even mind staying after a bit to let Kole have his day in the sun.  A big open field - Christmas morning for my little boy.

This past week has been a typical one.  Full of carpools and doctor appointments and homework and cleaning and activities and meal time and bath time and story time and all of the times in between.  The days have been the same but I have been different.  This past week when I felt tired or overwhelmed I pictured my girls running in the sun together holding hands.

And remembered that it's all worth it.  And how blessed I truly am.